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Case

United States v. Terren S. Peizer

PENDING CRIMINAL DIVISION CASES

United States v. Terren S. Peizer
Court Docket: 2:23-CR-89

Court Assigned: This case is assigned to the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, First Street Courthouse, 350 West First Street, Courtroom 7D, Los Angeles, CA 90012, before U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer.


Latest Updates: 

A Superseding Indictment was filed on January 31, 2024 charging defendant Peizer with additional counts of securities fraud and insider trading.

A motion hearing for defendant Peizer has been set for March 4, 2024 at 8:30 AM before Judge Dale S. Fischer.

The trial for defendant Peizer previously scheduled for April 23, 2024 before Judge Dale S. Fischer has been continued to June 4, 2024. The pretrial conference set for April 8, 2024 has been rescheduled for May 20, 2024.

Criminal Charges: In an indictment unsealed on March 1, 2023, Terren S. Peizer, the CEO and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Ontrak, Inc., a publicly traded healthcare company, was charged with one count of engaging in a securities fraud scheme and two counts of securities fraud for allegedly engaging in an insider trading scheme in which he fraudulently used Rule 10b5-1 trading plans to trade Ontrak stock.

According to court documents, between May and August 2021, Peizer, 63, a resident of Puerto Rico and Santa Monica, California, allegedly avoided more than $12.5 million in losses by entering into two Rule 10b5-1 trading plans while in possession of material, non-public information concerning the serious risk that Ontrak’s then-largest customer would terminate its contract. At the time of the alleged insider trading scheme, Peizer was Ontrak’s Executive Chairman and Chairman of the Board of Directors. As alleged in the indictment, in May 2021, Peizer entered into his first 10b5-1 trading plan shortly after learning that the relationship between Ontrak and the customer was deteriorating, and that the customer had expressed serious reservations about continuing its contract with Ontrak. Later, the indictment alleges that Peizer learned that the customer informed Ontrak of its intent to terminate the contract. Then, in August 2021, Peizer allegedly entered into his second 10b5-1 trading plan approximately one hour after Ontrak’s chief negotiator for the contract confirmed to Peizer that the contract likely would be terminated. The indictment alleges that, in establishing his 10b5-1 plans, Peizer refused to engage in any “cooling-off” period, despite warnings from two brokers, and began selling shares of Ontrak on the next trading day after establishing each plan. The indictment further alleges that, on August 19, 2021, just six days after Peizer adopted his August 10b5-1 plan, Ontrak announced that the customer had terminated its contract, and Ontrak’s stock price declined by more than 44%. 

For more information about United States v. Peizer, please see below:

Indictment
Press Release


Victim Impact Statement:  If you would like to submit a Victim Impact Statement you may do so by mailing the Victim Impact Statement below to: Victim Witness Unit, U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, Room 4416, Washington, DC 20530. You also may submit the Victim Impact Statement via email at VictimAssistance.fraud@usdoj.gov or by fax at: (202) 514-3708.

Victim Impact Statement (PDF)

The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at VictimAssistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.



Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that a criminal indictment is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: Because charges have been filed in this case in federal court, you also may be entitled to the following rights, according to the Crime Victims’ Rights Act, Title 18, United States Code, Section 3771: (1) The right to be reasonably protected from the accused; (2) The right to reasonable, accurate, and timely notice of any public court proceeding, or any parole proceeding, involving the crime or of any release or escape of the accused; (3) The right not to be excluded from any such public court proceeding, unless the court, after receiving clear and convincing evidence, determines that testimony by the victim would be materially altered if the victim heard other testimony at that proceeding; (4) The right to be reasonably heard at any public proceeding in the district court involving release, plea, sentencing, or any parole proceeding; (5) The reasonable right to confer with the attorney for the Government in the case; (6) The right to full and timely restitution as provided in law; (7) The right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay; (8) The right to be treated with fairness and with respect for the victim’s dignity and privacy; (9) The right to be informed in a timely manner of any plea bargain or deferred prosecution agreement; and (10) The right to be informed of the rights under this section and the services described in section 503(c) of the Victims’ Rights and Restitution Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 10607(c)) and provided contact information for the Office of the Victims’ Rights Ombudsman of the Department of Justice. The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged.

Section 3771(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the Government (or the Court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.

If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov. If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.

Plea Agreements: Please be aware that many criminal cases are resolved by plea agreement between the Department of Justice and the defendant. You should also know that it is not unusual for a defendant to seek to negotiate a plea agreement shortly before trial is scheduled to begin. Plea agreements can be made at any time and as late as the morning of trial, leaving little or no opportunity to provide notice to you of the date and time of the plea hearing. If the court schedules a plea hearing in this case, we will use our best efforts to notify you of available information as soon as practicable. If you want to inform the prosecutor of your views regarding potential plea agreements, or any other aspect of the case, please contact the prosecutor assigned to this case or call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at victimassistance.fraud@usdoj.gov.


Updated February 12, 2024